Award Notification and Negotiation

Just in Time (JIT) is a term used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to refer to an application timeframe that defers submission of certain required documentation until after a proposal has been reviewed and is deemed likely to be funded. This reduces the number of documents required at the time of application, as well as burden on institutional offices such as the IACUC and IRB. Several other agencies follow this same concept; but not all may call it JIT.

NIH uses the JIT process to request specific information prior to issuing an award when an application receives a favorable score; however, receipt of a JIT request does not guarantee that an application will be funded; This holds true for other funding agencies as well.

Different agencies using the JIT method of submission request varying types of information at the JIT phase. NIH requests the following information at the JIT phase:

  • Current Other Support
  • Compliance approvals (IRB approval and/or IACUC approval), as applicable
  • Human Subjects Education (for grants involving Human Subjects)
  • Any additional information needed in order to issue the award (will be specified in the request). Such requests can include: additional budgetary information, verification of salary level for K-award recipients, and/or confirmation of tuition/fees for fellowship applications.

The preferred method of submission for JIT information requested by NIH is via the Just-In-Time feature of the eRA Commons. JIT information requested by NIH may also be submitted directly to the Grants Management Office. This information must be countersigned or forwarded directly as an email attachment by an authorized business official in OSP.

Once a request for JIT submission is received from the agency, the PI and/or departmental administrator should forward the requested information to the appropriate OSP analyst. The analyst will review and verify the information and will work directly with the PI and/or departmental administrator to ensure that complete and accurate information is forwarded to the sponsor. During review, the OSP analyst will:

  • Ensure that all other support has been indicated on the Other Support document for all key personnel. The analyst will reconcile the grants listed on the Other Support document with the information in the Compass Grants module, including the committed level of effort on each pending and active grant. Should the analyst identify a discrepancy in the Other Support document versus what is recorded in the Compass system, the analyst will seek clarifying information from the department. Other Support information cannot be submitted until all such queries are resolved.
  • Ensure that the grant to be funded is covered by the IACUC or IRB approval provided with the materials.
  • Ensure that Human Subjects Protection training has been provided for all necessary staff when applicable
  • Review other materials and confirm accuracy of the submission, as appropriate.

PIs and support staff should note that many agencies set deadlines for JIT submission and should provide OSP sufficient time in advance of these deadlines to complete the above review.

A Provisional Award Number (PAN) may be requested by a Principal Investigator for the purposes of initiating a sponsored project and incurring expenses prior to the institution's receipt, acceptance, and processing of the award. PANs may be requested on many types of grants and contracts, but may not be requested on certain types of contracts, including corporate clinical trials. It is important to understand that all expenditures incurred in support of a project are at the department's risk should an award notice not be forthcoming or should it vary from what was anticipated. PIs and support staff interested in obtaining a PAN should submit a request.

To request a PAN, PIs or support staff should complete the PAN request form. The form must be completed in full and signed by appropriate individuals at the division, department and school levels. Once the form has been signed at the School level, it will be uploaded by the appropriate school representative into the OSP PAN Request System. OSP will be notified once such a request is received. Upon receipt, OSP will review the PAN and process as appropriate. OSP will then notify the submitter that the PAN has been established or denied, as applicable. If denied, OSP will provide a reason for such denial.

It is the department's responsibility to assess the need for a PAN, to evaluate the risks for setting up a PAN, and to complete the form and obtain signatures. In addition, the department must provide a guarantee SmartKey on the form. This SmartKey will be used to cover any charges incurred under a PAN should an award not ultimately be forthcoming from an agency or should any charge be unallowable by the terms of, or outside the period of, a forthcoming award. All charges under a PAN are incurred at the risk of the department requesting the PAN.

It is the responsibility of the Office of Sponsored Programs to review all grant and contract awards and ensure that all terms and conditions required by the agency can be met and are consistent with the policies of the institution. In circumstances where an agency requests conditions or terms which either cannot be met or are out of conformance with internal policy, OSP will work with the agency to negotiate mutually-acceptable alternative language.

It is also the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to review the award materials to make sure the Statement of Work and Budget are correct.

University Research Agreements—the University has developed several sponsored research template agreements. These template agreements contain standard terms and conditions acceptable to the University, as well as identify the University's general position regarding publication, intellectual property, confidentiality, warranties, use of name, etc. Sponsors who do not have a proposed standard agreement can use these template agreements.

The template agreements can be found in Forms and Agreements.

Subawards/Subcontracts Request System: The Office of Sponsored Programs has developed an online system by which departments and faculty may request that a subcontract or subaward be established under an existing sponsored project. This system is used by investigators to both initiate and amend agreements with subrecipients under their prime awards or contracts. Technically, subawards refer to agreements arising under grants and subcontracts to agreements arising under contracts. All such Subawards/subcontracts and any changes or modifications to subagreements must be requested electronically via Compass.

View additional guidance regarding requesting and processing subcontracts

  • Subrecipients under federal awards are defined in A-133 §.210, a definition generally used at Emory for subrecipients under all awards. Subrecipients have independent scientific control over the work being funded to them, have their own institutional responsibility for meeting the project's compliance requirements (IACUC, IRB, COI, etc.), and are acting as part of the research enterprise of their own institutions.
  • Vendors are not subrecipients and agreements for their services are not processed through the Sub Request System. Vendors supply goods and services, generally as part of their normal business operations, and generally at a competitive rate in an open market. Consultants, who are providing technical or professional services, are usually subject to vendor agreements.
  • The Sub Request Process is initiated through the Subawards/Subcontracts Request System. After the eNOA has been received for the budget period for which a sub is required, a request is made by the PI's department in the System, which is accessed through the OSP website at a link located on the left navigation menu. Included are links explaining the use of the system and the process for completing the sub request form.
  • The Sub Request Form is available through the system and requires completion of all appropriate data fields. Completion of the form authorizes OSP to encumber a purchase order against the account specified in the form.
  • Subrecipient scope of work (SOW) should be uploaded and be accurate and sufficiently detailed to measure against the objectives expected of the subrecipient. If the proposal SOW is appropriate, the requester can ask that OSP use the SOW in the proposal.
  • Subrecipient budget should be uploaded and provide sufficient detail to meet the requirements of the proposal and to allow the PI/department to analyze and affirm as containing fair and reasonable costs.
  • Compliance responsibilities from the prime award flow down to the subcontract. Compliance approvals from the sub must be available to Emory.